Rishabh Pant Will Get A Look Only If MS Dhoni Gets Injured: Saba Karim
Former India cricketers and national selectors Kiran More and Saba Karim feel that a good performance in the ongoing Indian Premier League will not ensure a India call for the youngsters for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to announce the squad for the tournament as an act of defiance following the result of the ICC board meeting in Dubai earlier this week. The Indian cricket board, on Wednesday (April 26), was outvoted was outvoted 9-1 as the governing body of the game approved the finance model which granted the BCCI a share of US $293 million from ICC events until 2023. A miffed Indian cricket board is still mulling over their participation in the upcoming tournament and have already skipped the April 25 deadline to announce the squad. Meanwhile, the Indian Express has reported that the board has delayed the announcement because they are also looking into the performances of some youngsters in the IPL.
The likes of Nitish Rana, Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson have impressed with their performances in the league and speculations are rife that they might get a call when the selectors announce the squad for the Champions Trophy. However, Kiran More does not think the performances in a T20 tournament is enough to secure a place in the team for the Champions Trophy.
“The Champions Trophy (50 overs a side) is a different ball game in England. You need experienced players for that,” More, who is currently with Mumbai Indians as their talent manager, was quoted as saying by Livemint.
Saba Karim also echoed More’s sentiments and said that one cannot pick a team for 50-over cricket by considering a player’s performance in a T20 match.
“When you are picking a T20 team, then (giving weightage to) IPL performance is fine. If I have to pick just a T20 team, then I can think of Rana, but certainly not for ODIs. I will see what he has done in the Vijay Hazare tournament,” Karim said.
Nitish Rana, a player who was dropped by Delhi for the Ranji Trophy, has been one of the best finds of the season. One of the most consistent batsmen for Mumbai Indians this season, Rana has made an impressive 285 runs in nine outings with the help of three half-centuries.
Karim even said that even Pant will be considered for selection only if MS Dhoni picks up an injury. The 19-year old, who is seen as the next big thing in Indian cricket, enjoyed a brilliant domestic season where he scored a belligerent 308 off 326 balls against Maharashtra in Ranji Trophy last year. He followed it up with a 48-ball hundred against Jharkhand, one of the fastest first-class centuries by an Indian. He finished Ranji Trophy as its fourth-highest run-getter with 972 runs in only 8 outings including four centuries and a couple of fifties.
“Even Pant will get a look only if Dhoni is injured. Similarly, someone like Krunal Pandya will be seriously considered if Ravindra Jadeja is unfit. However, if Virat Kohli gets injured, I won’t consider Rana because he hasn’t done anything of note in domestic cricket, unlike a Pant or Pandya,” Karim said.
“Nitish (Rana) has done well in the IPL but didn’t have a great first-class season, so the onus is now on him to follow it up nicely in the next season,” Karim added.
The former selectors further suggested that the impressive performance in the IPL can earn the players a berth in India A team.
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